A New Technique in Management of Depressed Posttracheostomy Scars

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Abstract

Background

The goals of tracheostomy scar revision are filling of the depressed area, providing easy sliding of skin over the trachea. There are various techniques described to correct this situation. In this article, a modification of split sternocleidomastoid (SCM) muscle flap used in the correction of posttracheostomy defects is described.

Methods

Thirteen patients who had depressed scars after tracheostomy are included in this study. The mean patient age was 44 years (range, 27–56 years). All patients who suffered from tracheal tug, dysphagia, and bad appearance are included in the study. The area with the depressed scar is de-epithelialized after incising around the depression. Bilateral SCM muscles are split in the coronal plane toward superior half of the muscle while leaving the posterior part of the muscle attached to the bone. After elevation, both SCM muscle flaps are overlapped in the midline.

Results

The mean follow-up period of the patients was 11 months (range, 5–20 months). Tracheal tug and dysphagia complaints were resolved in all patients. The depressed area due to the scar was either reduced or completely recovered in all the patients. Apart from 1 hematoma case, none of the early or late complications such as infection, wound dehiscence, skin necrosis, seroma, recurrence, or neck contracture was seen.

Conclusions

We think that this technique, which gives functionally and aesthetically satisfying results, can be used safely in depressed scars formed after tracheostomy and treatment of functional impairment due to this procedure.

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